Listening Exercise

Create small groups of three people. Allow space between groups as best you can. There are three Rounds – each person takes a turn being the storyteller, listener, and observer. The storyteller and listener face each other and observer sits to one side. The Observer is the timekeeper.

All three rounds should take thirty minutes or less. You may want to take a 5 minute break between rounds to stretch, to absorb and reflect on your previous round, and take restroom visits. 


Step 1: Storyteller:  Share a story of your childhood, an event, an adventure, or a vacation.

For two minutes or less share about: (You can change the order you share about the questions below or even leave something out of the story.)

 Who was there?
What did you do?
Where and when did this happen?
Why did you do this?
How did you feel about it at the time? (anger, joy, fear, etc.).
How do you feel about it as you are sharing this story now?

After Storyteller has shared their story:     

Step 2:   Listener recaps the details of the story they have heard and about the 
                non-verbal body language they have seen. (1 minute)  

Step 3:   Observer shares their observations (1 minute)
                 Briefly about what was said, what was not said (content of story), non-verbal 
                 body language, and what feelings were underneath the words (sadness, anger, 
                 gladness, fear, etc.). 

Step 4:   Storyteller shares about their experience (1 minute)
                How was this experience for you? What did you learn? 

 Go to the next Round.


© David Tillman, 2020,, all rights reserved